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Records of YMCA international work in Chile

Identifier: Y.USA.9-2-15


Includes correspondence, reports, and printed material, primarily concerning the YMCAs in Santiago, Concepcion, and Valparaiso. A significant portion of the records consist of correspondence and documents concerning the finances of the YMCA, building campaigns, and community service in Chile.


  • Creation: 1913-2001


Language of Materials


Use of Materials:

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.


In 1909 Angus Clifton Hull was sent to Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile, to explore the possibility of beginning an Association but a decision was made not to pursue the attempt. In 1910 while visiting Valparaiso, Chile, Charles D. Hurrey met with a group who were interested in forming a YMCA. Through them a provisional committee was formed. In 1912 the International Committee sent Frederic Christian Wurtz as secretary and in September of that year the Association was launched.

By the middle of the twentieth century Chile had three YMCAs: one in Valparaiso, founded in 1912 as stated above by Hurrey; one in Santiago, organized in 1918 by Ralph C. Scott; and one in Concepcion, begun in 1927. The YMCA in Antofagasta was founded in 1962 and extended to Iquique in 1981.

When the Valparaiso Association was founded, the membership was chiefly from the English and German communities. In June 1915, A. E. Turner arrived and was general secretary until 1933. He gave special attention to attracting Chilean young men. Various types of social work were begun by members including classes for working women and a center for homeless children. There was also a campaign to reduce illiteracy. Basketball was introduced, and by 1930 about 68 teams and 17 clubs were participating in a city-wide tournament. Under Turner, better housing conditions were obtained, visiting nurse services were started, and an anti-fly campaign was carried through. In 1938, with the deepening of the depression, Turner was retired from the staff. No North American secretary served the Valparaiso Association after that point.

The Santiago Association had a long struggle. The city was a major student center and the Association was first formed there to serve solely this group, but soon expanded beyond it. Hugo Grassi devoted some months to inaugurating the physical department; he was followed by another Uruguayan. A succession of North American also secretaries helped. In 1926 there were about 800 members, and in 1947 the boys work was so successful that the Government gave it financial assistance.

The Concepcion Association had almost no assistance from North America and, except briefly, was carried on entirely with South American secretaries.

As of 1952, the local YMCAs were coordinated by the Chilean Federation with its office located in Valparaiso. In the early 2000s the Chilean movement reached 12,000 members, with Santiago making up 30% of Chile's participants. The principal programs were related to physical education, sports, camps, schools, recreation, and community work.

The following is a list of individuals who served as YMCA secretaries in Chile, along with their dates of service.

Andersen, Ted (1983-1985) Hansen, Conrad J. (1926-1931)
Baldwin, Lawrence E. (1941-1947) Hull, Angus Clifton (1908-1911)
Binkley, Wade Everet (1916-1919) Hutsell, Garry Wayne (1969-1970)
Bjorlie, Wayne E. (1966-1967) Maricle, Victor Neal (1950-1955)
Brooks, Mila W. Rayburn, Clarence Elmer (1925-1928)
Costas, James H. (1964-1971) Scott, Ralph C. (1916-1926)
Crew, Malcolm Richard (1921-1925, 1931-1952) Turner, Augustine Elmer (1915-1933)
Dickens, Frederic Williams (1932-1933) Viramontes, Edward (1976-1978)
Dunbar, Elizabeth L. (1967-1968) Wurtz, Frederic Christian (1911-1915)
Ewing, Harry Ernest (1930-1932)
Historical information largely adapted and quoted from World Service: A History of the Foreign Work and World Service of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States and Canada, (New York: Association Press, 1957) by Kenneth Scott Latourette, and from the collection.


1.2 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)


Correspondence, reports, and printed material, primarily concerning the YMCA's work in Chile, primarily Santiago, Concepcion, and Valparaiso.

Physical Location

See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Biographical information on many of the secretaries involved YMCA work in the Philippines (see list of individuals in the historical note) is available in the YMCA Biographical Files, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

Processing Information:

Processed as part of Fast Processing Project II, October 2010, as collection FP009. Material has been minimally processed. Folder descriptions may be general and material has not been grouped into series.

Catalog Record ID number: 6257803

An Inventory of Its Records
Finding aid prepared by Lara Friedman-Shedlov.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area